Namibia: Police Lauches Automated Biometric Identification System

The Namibian Police Force became the first law-enforcement agency in southern Africa to introduce an automated biometric identification system.

Minister of Safety and Security Charles Namoloh launched the police Automated Biometric Identification System (N-ABIS) in Windhoek. It includes an automated fingerprint identification system and automated facial recognition system.

N-ABIS was developed at a cost of N$40 million over a period of two years by Orion Technologies and Engineering Systems Africa (Otesa), a Namibian company.

Namoloh said acquiring the new technology demonstrates that police operates in a digital manner as set out in the national e-Government Strategic Action Plan for the Public Service of Namibia.

"The Ministry of Safety and Security is committed to implementing government policies and strategies in order to improve service delivery.

"We successfully launched the e-Policing system in 2010 at a cost of N$22 million. This system consists of 16 databases, and today we are launching yet another system that will enhance efficiency in serving our people," he noted.

The e-policing system stores data on case dockets, crime statistics and (crime) movement, and crime intelligence, amongst others.

N-ABIS is capable of capturing live scans of fingerprints and also uses facial recognition, comparing it in seconds against millions of scans in the database, said police Inspector-General Sebastian Ndeitunga.

"The waiting for conduct certificates for months is now history, as it will now take only two weeks to produce a police conduct certificate," he said.

Ndeitunga explained that the system was largely procured to address the public outcry on the delay in obtaining certificates of conduct from the police and obtaining criminal records on outstanding criminal cases for court proceedings.

The system will be rolled out at the Windhoek, Katutura and Wanaheda police stations on Monday. Police hopes to introduce the system in the other regions by the end of the year.

The launch was attended by senior officials from police, the Namibia Correctional Service, City Police and other Government officials.

Source: The Namibian